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Australia vs Uzbekistan

FIFA World Cup - 2010 Qualifiers - Asian Region - Round 4 - Group 1 - Match 5
Australia vs Uzbekistan
at Stadium Australia on 2009-04-01T10:00:00
Score: 2-0 (0-0)
Scorers: Josh Kennedy (66'), Harry Kewell (73', P)
Official Info: FIFA Details
Previous Match: Australia vs Kuwait
Next Match: Qatar vs Australia

When Valeri went down and the referee awarded a penalty, there was that feeling again. We're off to the World Cup Finals! A great result for Australia. The other result overnight means technically we can't be certain, but it's all over bar the shouting. We will get the solitary point required from our next three matches. And then it's South Africa here we come.

Naturally I went to the game. A good crowd was in - about 55K. It felt pretty full. The noise was good, but nothing like Australia vs Uruguay. Australia had a scratchy start. Bresciano missed a sitter early on which would have been great to get. And the Uzbekis created a couple of good chances.

Play settled down though and Australia began to dominate, maintaining a lot of posession, if looking a little unthreatening. 0-0 at half time was acceptable. The Uzbekis should tire after their match on the weekend and the long flight in.

Australia lifted the tempo in the second half. But it wasn't until Kennedy came on that things took off. He scored from an absolute quality header after being on for just five minutes. We sustained the pressure and earnt a penalty. Kewell converted and it was all over.

Overall a much better performance than our last few outings. And no-one can argue with the results. Four wins, one draw, no losses and no goals conceded. Verbeek has his detractors but he will deliver qualification.

The good thing about qualifying through Asia is we'll never have that roll-of-the-dice, all-or-nothing, last match. But that's also the bad thing. We'll never have that extreme high again. Overall though I prefer the current system.